Rob & John's Excellent Vacation travel blog

Church enroute to Los Barilles

Los Barriles

Los Barriles Sunset

ATVing in the Canyon

ATVing on the Beach

Bahia de Sueños

Cabo Pulmo

Cabo Pulmo

Rough Day in Cabo Pulmo

Hauling up the Rock Wall

Nature Calls

Sea of Cortes Boating

Whale Breaching Off Los Barriles

Tropic of Cancer

Mileage 16,275

We're on the East Cape of the Baja peninsula in Los Barriles. We have hit the northern edge of the tourist areas. Although this little town wasn't built for the tourist trade, as was Cancun, it has definitely adapted itself to the trend; maybe like Los Cabos was 20 years ago. But as of now, it is still a somewhat sleepy, dusty little village that just happens to have a number of multi-million dollar houses on the hills occupied by "ferners" - all of whom seem to be on the richer side, I suppose, and somewhat obnoxious. The campground we were "supposed" to camp in was - surprise! - double booked. They were short 4 spaces so we volunteered to stay elsewhere with our 3 group leaders. It turned out to be a wise choice because, although there was no water, electric or sewer facilities, we had a very nice time. If you could picture someone starting a housing development, laying out all the streets for a 4 block by 4 block development, planting trees and grass and then not building any houses - that's where we stayed. We even had our resident herd of cattle wandering about the RVs and a lone donkey - all of which were very well behaved.

We rented a boat and rode across the bay to a neat little restaurant on the Bahia de Sueños, formally the Bahia de los Muertos. (The Bay of Dreams, formally the Bay of the Dead - obviously a good PR name change for a tourist destination...) On our way over we saw the neatest thing. Well, a couple of neat things. The first was when we saw a school (flock, pod, or maybe herd???) of mantra rays flying up out of the water flapping their wings (?) to a fair the well. Three, four or five of them at a time out of the water like flocks of birds. I understand they were trying to knock parasites off their bodies. Second, we saw quite a few whales and one of them breeched, came up and out of the water all most the entire length of his/her body, not far from the boat. It was a smaller one but never the less - Cool!

We rented ATVs and went into the backcountry up into the canyons and arroyos. What great fun! Never driven one before but now I can see how you'd get hooked - but I can also see how if you go off trail, ripping through the vegetation it could be pretty destructive... But zipping up and down the rocky hills and plunging into/out of the Rio Buenos Aires and the Rio San Bartolo (both some what shallow rivers right now) was a blast. We rode as far as you could go on the Rio San Bartolo and had lunch by a neat double waterfall. By the end of the day, we were royally wet and sandy... (Rent The Great Escape and watch Steve McQueen trying to escape the German's on his motorcycle - that was me - Honest! - ("that was I" according to spell check.) I was the speed demon but Rob was the stuntman by doing wheelies and spinning perfect figure eights - sand and water flying every which way.)

We headed off to see the very pretty little town of Santiago and up into the canyon to see the Cascada de Sol de Mayo; a very pretty waterfall cascading 200 feet down the rocks into a large beautiful oasis lagoon. It was a major climb through the rocky canyon to get there and then the last 150 feet you had to lower yourself hand over hand down the face of the rocky canyon wall by a knotted rope. Since I had gone a** over teakettle the night before walking back from dinner and messed up my knee and foot, I made it as far as the rope but Rob went all the way to the bottom. On the way back to Los Barriles, we sidelined off to Cabo Pulmo; a very remote little diving area. Cabo Pulmo has the last living coral reef on the North American Pacific coast. The last! It was a pretty drive south along the Sea of Cortes, but we were all ready tired and it added over 60 miles to our day and the last 6 miles each way were brutal! It was one of those times where you really want to turn around but you know if you do that someone, down the road, will tell you that it was the best part of their trip. So we soldiered on. It was okay. If you were going out there to camp on the beach, to spend a few days or weeks, it would be a really great place; but as a day trip...

Well, time to move on south to Cabo San Lucas. On the way south we will cross the Tropic of Cancer!

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